In the tennis world, “How is she playing?” is often followed by “What is she wearing?” Fashion has long been a part of this ever-evolving sport, and top players step onto the court in wardrobes created by prestigious designers like Stella McCartney and Ginny Hilfiger. At Wimbledon each summer, tradition dictates that players wear all white, and fashion fans always wait to see what unique ways the clothing companies make their players’ kits stand out from the rest. Their creativity helps us discover how to make the most of wearing white in our own summer wardrobes.
Texture is so important when wearing a white outfit. Put together an ensemble of uniformly plain whites and you end up looking like a nurse from the ’50s. Instead we look to this tiered dress Maria Sharapova wore to Wimbledon in 2010. The ruffled layers add both visual interest and movement, breaking up that boring solid white. The Duchess of Cambridge herself donned a tiered dress for the event in 2011.
That same year, Tsvetana Pironkova wore a puckered skirt and white bodice with a crisscross design for a figure-flattering ensemble. This cool, Wimbledon-inspired eyelet dress from DKNY shows another way to add attractive texture to your monochromatic pieces. Brocades, lace overlays, and piping-edged tailoring will also enhance the beauty of a white outfit.
Show Some Skin
Warm temperatures mean wearing skimpier clothes and showing off more skin. An all-white outfit with sheer panels or cut-outs can be sexy but still suitable for daywear. Just check out the pretty lace-up back on Venus Williams’ 2003 Wimbledon dress, or the sheer strappy design of Caroline Wozniacki’s kit in 2013. The color traditionally associated with purity adds class to dresses that would seem a lot more risque in black or red.
Top Off with a Blazer
A tailored white blazer makes any outfit look smart, even a T-shirt dress, mini-skirt, or jeans. Just see what the crisp blazer does for Serena Williams’ Wimbledon dress in 2012, and Sharapova’s jacket dresses up even a pair of shorts. Off the courts, you can see that even Rihanna’s tiny bandeau top looks more demure with a long blazer over it.
Consider a Pop of Color
The Wimbledon rules allow for a hint of color in a tennis player’s wardrobe. Designers will often use color to draw attention to the tailoring, like this bright pink pinstriping in Jelena Jankovic’s 2011 dress. It can also be used as a more prominent accent, like Masha’s lime straps and shorts at Wimby ’12. In your own wardrobe, a simple white outfit is the perfect opportunity to draw attention to an ornate turquoise necklace or silk floral scarf. A red patent leather handbag provides a fun pop of color for a white suit, and hot pink strappy sandals add a bit of personality to a plain white sundress.
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